In early June, a tractor-trailer carrying 2,200 piglets overturned on Rt. 35 in Xenia, Ohio. The single vehicle accident caused only minor injuries to the driver and passenger. However, the cargo caused no small problem for authorities in Xenia Township.
According to ABC7 News, “Numerous agencies and volunteers worked to corral the animals after the rash Monday night on U.S. Route 35 in Xenia Township, near Dayton. Crews picked up the squealing pigs by their hind legs. They were taken to Greene County Fairgrounds. Authorities say… some of the animals ran into a nearby wooded area.”
This recent mishap highlights a rarely mentioned aspect of big rig wrecks; namely, that the cargo itself can be hazardous. Details surrounding the accident are unclear, but pending an investigation it appears that the driver lost control during the last leg of his trip from South Carolina. Driver fatigue was likely a factor.
Big rigs are dangerous, and not only because they represent up to 80 tons hurtling down the road at highway speeds. Mechanical failures, load shifting, and human error can wreak havoc on roadways and with traffic when these trucks crash.
In this case, the roadway had to be closed to facilitate the cleanup of livestock. The accident left between 300 and 400 piglets dead, with the rest running around a busy highway and the surrounding woods. If this truck had been carrying hazardous materials instead, a full HAZ-MAT crew would have been required to respond to the accident and the repercussions could have been far more severe.
When trucks spill their load, they can create road hazards and obstacles that drivers are not used to seeing. Luckily, this accident happened at night in a relatively low traffic area. Had it happened in broad daylight on a major highway, the damages could have been much worse.
Whether the cause is driver fatigue or a mechanical mishap, the company that owns the truck is responsible for any damages caused. The driver in this case has since lost his license. Accidents happen, and when big trucks are involved, the consequences are usually disastrous. Our experienced truck accident attorneys can help if you have been involved in an accident. Contact Crandall & Pera Law today to meet with us at one of our Ohio or Kentucky offices.